06/16/2009 - News

Soy Lowers Colon Cancer Risk After Menopause

By: June Chen, MD


Previous experimental studies have shown that soy and some of its components have cancer-inhibiting properties.

Eating soy-containing foods is associated with a lower risk for colorectal cancer in post-menopausal women, according to a study published in the February 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition .

Researchers from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee, and their colleagues studied 68,412 women aged 40 to 70 years who were free of both cancer and diabetes at the time of enrollment. The researchers assessed soy food intake in order to determine whether it was associated with a risk for colorectal cancer. During the follow-up period, 321 of these women were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. The researchers found that, among post-menopausal women, higher soy food intake was associated with a lower colorectal cancer risk. By their calculations, for every 5 grams of soy food consumed per day, risk was reduced by 8%.

With the wide availability of soy-containing foods, it is not difficult to incorporate soy into the diet. Since colorectal cancer is one of the most common cancers worldwide, the possibility that soy consumption can reduce colorectal cancer risk could translate into a simple and useful tool for cancer prevention.


Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89:577-583.

Created on: 02/04/2009
Reviewed on: 06/16/2009

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